By Jan Ove R. Ebbestad
Berlin – a City, a world Metropolis, an iconographic image – and the site of the 3rd German trilobite meeting.
For two intense days, I participated in this event as an invited speaker. The meeting gathered more than 100 collectors and a few professionals in a happy and successful blend, celebrating all things trilobitic. Most of the participants were private collectors, specialized on finding trilobites in erratic boulders – Geschiebe. Dr Richard Fortey, an emeritus from the British Museum of Natural history was the main invited speaker. He elegantly put it that, the only distinction between an amateur and a professional [trilobite worker] was that the professional was paid. Since he now was retired and unpaid, he therefore was an amateur!
The meeting was held at the Museum fur Naturkunde, and splendidly organized by Michael Zwanzig from Berlin, whom I have had the good fortune of meeting during his frequent visits to Uppsala. The hospitality and enthusiasm was palatable and the coffee breaks were put to good use with many discussions and reflections on specimens and collections. The level of competence and devotion to their fossils among the collectors is impressive and the opportunity to meet and discuss is therefore invaluable. My sincere thanks to Michael for the effort in bringing us all together, paid and unpaid professionals and alike.
This time I presented our work on the Digermulen olenelloid trilobites in a broad sense and gave the first glimpses of results from the collecting effort this season. It gave me the opportunity to discuss problems of stratigraphy and taxonomy with both Helje Pärneste from the Technical University in Tallinn and Jens Koppka, currently in Switzerland, but an avid researcher of the lower Cambrian Holmia shales of the classical Mjøsa area in Norway.
And last, but not least for my own part. I got to see the skeleton of Brachiosaurus/Giraffatitan in the Humboldt Museum.